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Delaware Bay Fishing Report 6-6-17

<b>Port Elizabeth</b>

Black drum were still hauled from Delaware Bay before last weekend, said Sharon from <b>The Girls Place Bait & Tackle</b>. She was yet to hear reports from the weekend when she gave this report Monday. But the fish currently were surely still there, and the angling will slow down. The catches often remain good through June’s full moon, happening this week, and not long afterward. Summer flounder were heard about from back bays but not Delaware Bay. Windy weather wasn’t the best for flounder fishing on Delaware Bay. Several customers reported limiting out on flounder on back bays in the Avalon and Stone Harbor area. Lots of kingfish supposedly schooled all over the bay. Anchor Marina said customers often returned with kings. Kingfish are usually found along sandy bottom. Kings, good-tasting, became scarce for a time but showed back up in recent years. Weakfish were reported swimming along the southern bay’s jetties but were also reported schooling throughout the bay sometimes. The weaks along jetties could be sizable, and one angler landed a 6-pounder and saw an 8-pounder taken along the jetties, both on bloodworms under floats. Not much was reported about bluefish. Crabbing was pretty good and has been this spring. Baits stocked include bloodworms and shedder crabs. The bloods are also popular for kingfishing, but so are shedders. Those are the two popular baits for them. Some old-timers even dunk clams for kings. The Girls Place, located on Route 47, just after Route 55 ends, carries a large supply of bait and tackle, and is the long, one-story, yellow building on the right. It’s on the way to the bay.


One rental boat returned with 1 ¼ bushels of crabs this weekend, and if the crabbers aboard hadn’t run out of bait, they would’ve trapped 2 bushels, they said, Paul from <b>Beaver Dam Boat Rentals</b> said. Crabbing went great during the weekend for customers. Crabs were on the smaller side, typical for early in the season. But more 5-3/4-inchers and 6-inchers were seen than before. Most crabs were males, and most females seemed in Delaware Bay. Commercial crabbers reported the females. At Beaver Dam, bunker was the bait to use during the weekend. One set of customers wanted to use chicken and did, but returned, saying the shop was right that bunker caught best. A couple of customers fished, but none of the store’s veteran anglers did, and not much was heard about catches, except about one small striped bass landed. Customers crab and fish on rental boats towed up Oranokin Creek, running past the shop. The rentals are available Saturdays and Sundays and will become available daily on June 24. However, the store will be closed throughout Fathers’ Day weekend, June 17 and 18, because the owners will attend a family event. Visit <a href="" target="_blank">Beaver Dam’s website</a>.


Capt. Howard on the <b>Salt Talk</b> fished for black drum on the bay with two anglers Thursday, he said. A 35-pounder was reeled up, and another apparently picked up a bait but dropped it. The line ripped off the reel in two bursts on a rod that was in a rod holder. Weather was fair until the tide changed and wind began to blow and seas kicked up. Heard about summer flounder from the bay? Howard was asked. One of the Fortescue party boat captains said throwbacks, not many, bit. Six were released on that vessel Friday, Howard thought, and he heard about none of the Fortescue fleet docking a keeper yet. He heard about weakfish and kingfish hooked along the shipping channel but not about the size. The previous Salt Talk was a party boat from Fortescue. Howard sold that vessel, and the new Salt Talk is a charter boat for up to four passengers.


Had a great weekend, Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> said. On a trip Friday evening on Delaware Bay aboard, a 14-year-old girl reeled in her first black drum, a 33-pounder. The anglers wanted to do it again, so they headed back out Saturday evening, and the girl pumped in a 22-pounder. Dogfish and big rays also bit, and the bay’s drum fishing might be winding down, Jim guessed. Not a lot of drum were seen caught on other vessels during the trips. Friends ran trips on the bay during the same evenings on two boats, and on Friday, one of the boats totaled one drum and the other totaled two, and on Saturday, both were skunked. When Fins fishes Delaware Bay, the boat is trailered and launched wherever’s closest to the fishing. When Fins fishes other places, like the back bay, trips depart from the boat’s slip at Avalon. On a half-day charter Sunday on the back bay with Jim, six summer flounder, including two keepers 21 and 22 inches, were cranked in. Jim’s <a href="" target="_blank">lodge near Salmon River</a> in upstate New York is offering a discount in summer, but only on Airbnb. Fishing is available, including on Lake Ontario, with local guides. Guests often drive quadrunners that season in the local area. Guests rented the lodge this past week.

<b>Cape May</b>

Four black drum were decked and four were lost on Delaware Bay on Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> on Dave Titus’s charter, Capt. George said. The biggest probably weighed 60 pounds, and David Fitzgerald from Fitzgerald Electric’s charter sailed for sea bass Sunday aboard, far offshore. Lots of big ling 4 and 5 pounds were boxed, but sea bass fishing was tough. About 15 keeper sea bass to 20, 22 inches, big fish, were totaled. A wreck was fished where someone George knew fished the previous day and loaded up on 40 jumbos. From what George heard about Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May’s annual shark tournament that was held last weekend, lots of blue sharks were landed, one mako was brought in but didn’t qualify, and a thresher shark, not big, won. That was all unconfirmed.

Black drum trips sometimes ran on Delaware Bay on the <b>Fishin’ Fever</b>, beating them up pretty well, seven to 10 of the fish per trip, Capt. Tom said. The drum weighed up to 80 pounds. The bay was yet to warm, and drum should remain there some time. They should bite all the way through this week’s full moon. Sea bass fishing on the ocean’s been limiting out early on every trip aboard. In other news, a few thresher sharks and mako sharks were fought recently from the ocean. Tom heard reports about yellowfin tuna boated at local canyons offshore.

Nobody was known about who tried for summer flounder on Delaware Bay yet, said Joe from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The back bay was fished for the fluke, and few flounder seemed to bite at ocean reefs yet. That should happen in two weeks. Black drum fishing was good on the bay last week. The bigger held deeper at sloughs like Tussy’s. Smaller held shallower, and trash fish like skates were more abundant there. A few striped bass were still mixed in, in the shallower. Drum fishing typically keeps changing. Productive catches happen a moment, and the angling tails off. It picks back up, and it slows another moment. Some anglers say the full moon is time for the catches, but Joe’s never had luck on the moon. The fishery’s one of the most unpredictable, but has been good this season. Weakfish, good-sized, seemed to become more abundant at structure from jetties to bulkheads to bridges in the past week, biting bloodworms under floats. A few were caught before, but more were lately.  In the surf, striper fishing was half-decent last week. Clams and bunker hit them, and no particular time of day seemed best. One angler would connect on outgoing tide, and another would on dead high, and another would on incoming, and so on. Bluefish sounded abundant toward Avalon and Sea Isle City, farther north, last week. That might’ve changed since.

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